To Hannibal Hamlin

Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., October 29, 1863.

My dear Sir: The above act of Congress was passed, as I suppose, to exclude improper applicants from seats in the House of Representatives and there is danger now that it will be used to exclude proper ones. The attempt will be made, if at all, upon the members of those States whose delegations are entirely, or by a majority, Union men and of which your State is one.

I suppose your members already have the usual certificates—which let them bring on. I suggest that for greater caution, yourself, the two senators, Messrs. Fessenden and Morrill, and the Governor consider this matter, and that the Governor make out an additional certificate, or set of certificates, in the form on the other half of this sheet, and still another, if on studying the law you gentlemen shall be able to frame one which will give additional security; and bring the whole with you, to be used if found necessary. Let it all be done quietly. The members of Congress themselves need not know of it.

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.


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